Mid-sized Manufacturer Makes a Sweet Supply Chain Decision

Jelly Belly chooses Intentia's enterprise solution to support future growth

Schaumburg, IL — February 15, 2006 — It may be a lot of fun making candy at Jelly Belly, one of America's most unique and notable brands, but making money at the same time is all business, say company executives.

With a collection of disparate software applications, some of them 20 years old, as the backbone of the business, Jelly Belly leaders knew it was time to find an integrated, flexible system to support the privately held company's continued growth.

Following an exhaustive evaluation, Jelly Belly, known for its signature Jelly Belly jelly beans in traditional jelly bean varieties such as cherry and grape, but also in exotic flavors such as buttered toast or roasted garlic, recently licensed a full suite of Movex applications, including the Movex Business Engine, Advanced Planning Tools, Plant Maintenance, Sales and Marketing and e-Sales, from Intentia, which provides software for the manufacturing, distribution and maintenance industries.

"We looked at what we had and what we saw was a lot of patched together applications that were missing functionality that is essential for a modern business," said Ryan Schader, vice president for Business Development at Fairfield, Calif.-based Jelly Belly. "We were throwing a lot of people at processes we thought should be done by computers. It became clear that it was time to update our [enterprise resource planning (ERP)] system to meet the needs of our complex manufacturing process."

Jelly Belly makes 50 flavors of its signature Jelly Beans, as well as numerous other confectionary products, at two U.S. manufacturing facilities. In 2007, the company will add another production plant in Thailand. Two warehouses provide distribution capabilities.

The process of manufacturing a Jelly Belly jelly bean varies in length from 14 to 21 days. This combined with the long lead times for some raw materials, and over 1,500 different finished good items, makes for an extremely complicated supply chain.

"We are a mid-sized company that competes against some large companies," explained Schader. "Some of our customers are large retailers who levy fines if our shipments are late or incomplete. Expedited freight deliveries and moving candy between distribution centers, what we jokingly call 'product frequent flier miles,' reduce profitability. A few of our customers are leaders in logistics management, and they have absolutely no tolerance for failures in the management of our supply chain."

To update the company's technology, Jelly Belly began a 12-month evaluation that would include 35 managers from all aspects of company operations.

"We used a 10-flavor mix of Jelly Belly jelly beans to evaluate support for our process manufacturing operations when we looked at potential solutions," said Dan Rosman, Jelly Belly IT director. "We were looking for a solution that was strong in process manufacturing, and beyond that requirement it had to be an integrated solution with one database and one interface on a single platform. Movex was a great fit for supporting our manufacturing operation and also for associated applications such as order entry and warehouse management."

At first, the evaluation was intended to only look at solution functionality and ignore technology platform considerations, said Rosman. With the eventual selection of Movex, Jelly Belly had a choice of IBM iSeries, Linux or Windows platforms. The candy maker chose Windows because of its existing expertise in that platform.



Additional Articles of Interest

  • Is your company getting the most from its supply management function? For a step-by-step look at how to phase in a successful "end-to-end" supply management strategy, read the article "Roadmap to a Comprehensive Supply Management Strategy," an In Depth article on SDCExec.com.

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